The Sky Pool at Embassy Gardens, London (CC BY 2.0 - Mark), from our recent post, Spatial Practices

November 2023

Recently published, seen and heard, and what is coming up.


Table of Contents

Recently published

Spatial Agency

Awan, Schneider and Till lay the groundwork for another way of doing architecture

Spatial Practices

Reflections on architectural activism

Seen & heard

‎Hard Fork: Mayhem at OpenAI + Our Interview With Sam Altman on Apple Podcasts
‎Show Hard Fork, Ep Mayhem at OpenAI + Our Interview With Sam Altman - 20 Nov 2023
The board has the ultimate leverage here … this convoluted governance structure, where there's a non-profit that controls a for-profit, and the non-profit can vote to fire the CEO at any time - it was set up for this purpose. You can argue with how they executed it but … it was meant to give the beard to power to shut this all down, if they determined that what was happening at Open AI was unsafe or was not going to lead to broadly beneficial AGI.

Tech Guy Says Books Will Be Replaced by AI-Powered “Thunks”
Anaconda co-founder and CEO Peter Wang predicts that books will soon be replaced by AI-generated, interactive content trips dubbed “thunks.”
"There can still be a classic linear 'passive read mode,'" the developer added, "but that can be autogenerated based on the recipient's level of existing context and knowledge."
In other words? It seems that according to Wang, gone are the days of humanity expressing its creativity, engaging in the quest for understanding, and fulfilling our need to catalog our existence through the thousands-year-old tradition of literature. Instead, all we'll do is think a little thunk, and allow AI to generate a multimedia choose-your-own-adventure experience.

From right to buy to housing crisis: how home ownership killed Britain’s property dream
Margaret Thatcher’s ‘property-owning democracy’ project drove a mass sell-off of social housing. After more than 40 years of soaring prices and growing inequality, is it time to change course?
In general Thatcher’s government prided itself on fighting inflation, inflicting heavy costs on employment in an attempt to bring the annual rate down. But with property it was different. Inflation, when it came to homes, was to be celebrated.

The ‘Enshittification’ of TikTok
Or how, exactly, platforms die.

This is enshittification: Surpluses are first directed to users; then, once they're locked in, surpluses go to suppliers; then once they're locked in, the surplus is handed to shareholders and the platform becomes a useless pile of shit. From mobile app stores to Steam, from Facebook to Twitter, this is the enshittification lifecycle.

Doughnut for Urban Development Launch
Join the global launch of the new open source book: Doughnut for Urban Development: A Manual. You can access the book and all associated resources and tools…
For the first time the Doughnut model has been applied at a sectoral level, resulting in Doughnut for Urban Development: A Manual, which presents the background, process, and findings of a collaborative research process between twenty co-authors and twenty contributing experts.
The manual was created with the aim of providing developers and other building industry experts with knowledge that supports the application and practice of the Doughnut principles in urban development. It could be used by architects, planners, engineers, local government officers and others working on the design, planning and delivery of buildings.
Download the PDF book here.

Mass protests over copper mine risk Panama’s business-friendly image
Government halts new metals mining deals after unexpected public anger over First Quantum project
Over the past three decades Panama’s economy has grown more than 5 per cent per year on average, slashing poverty rates and bucking lacklustre economic trends in a region plagued by instability.
But the economic progress belies anger over political corruption and inequality. In recent weeks that has fused with worry, especially among younger Panamanians, about climate change as the country’s canal suffers record droughts.
“What young people are saying is that they want a model that isn’t an extractivist model,” said Brooke Alfaro Hart, chair of the board of environmental non-profit Centro de Incidencia Ambiental.

Coming up

How the convergence of exponential technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain and extended reality, will manifest as a transformational, spatial network.

UpdatesArtificial IntelligenceBooksClimate changeCollective actionMakingSpatialSystems thinking

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